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Trinity Flower

5-11-17 stinking benjamin 165

Purple Trillium, Large-flowered Trillium and Painted Trillium all flower in the month of May. Another name for trilliums is Trinity Flower, referring to the plant’s parts which are arranged in three’s or in multiple of threes. Three leaves, three sepals, three petals, six stamens, three stigmas and an ovary that has three compartments. (Photo: Purple Trillium, Trillium erectum)

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15 responses

  1. Such beautiful and unusual flowers

    May 11, 2017 at 7:30 am

  2. What a stunning photo! (Who knew purple trillium petals were translucent?!) Once again, I’m amazed… Thanks, Mary!

    May 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

  3. Daphne

    A gorgeous photo, Mary. Thank you.

    May 11, 2017 at 8:08 am

  4. Beautiful picture, Mary.

    May 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

  5. Alice Pratt

    Our Earth is overflowing with uniqueness.

    May 11, 2017 at 8:25 am

  6. Cathy McCue

    fyi

    On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 7:25 AM, Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” Purple Trillium, Large-flowered Trillium and > Painted Trillium all flower in the month of May. Another name for trilliums > is Trinity Flower, referring to the plant’s parts which are arranged in > three’s or in multiple of threes. Three leaves, three sepals” >

    May 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

  7. We call it ‘Wake Robin’ up here in Canada, as it heralds spring return with the Robins.

    May 11, 2017 at 8:54 am

  8. Frances Strayer

    I like Trinity Flower for a name of a beautiful plant. We always called them Stinking Benjamin as they have a smell of rotten meat. Below is from Adirondack Almanac about the name.
    Stinking Benjamin – surely that is a name behind which a good tale lies. Sadly, no. It turns out that it, like so many words in our language today, is a corruption of something else, in this case the word benzoin, which itself was a corruption of the earlier word benjoin, an ingredient derived from plants from Sumatra and used in the manufacture of perfume. Our trillium, however, does not smell sweet or spicy, hence the tag “stinking.”

    Go out this spring and find yourself a red trillium and take a sniff. You may discover it smells a bit like rotting meat. Mmmm. This aroma, however, serves a purpose, which goes hand-in-hand with the flower’s rather raw-fleshy coloration, and that purpose is to attract pollinators. In this flower’s case, though, the pollinators are green flesh-flies who are out in search of rotting meat on which to lay their eggs. Instead of finding the perfect nursery, however, they end up assisting the plant in its procreative efforts. And you thought plants were boring! These flies aren’t left without any reward though, as some insects are when they are deceived by other plants. No, as payment for their services, they are rewarded with a meal of pollen – the flowers produce no nectar (which is probably another reason why bees don’t visit them).

    May 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

    • Carmen Vande Griek

      We called them nose bleeds for the same reason….they stink!

      May 11, 2017 at 8:19 pm

  9. A few years ago I found (and photographed) a four-petaled Painted Trillium. It was growing alongside several normal, three-petaled ones, and was exactly the same except for having four of everything rather than three. I’ve never seen another like it.

    May 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

    • I’ve never heard of this – amazing find!

      May 11, 2017 at 10:17 am

  10. Gardening-Guy's Blog

    Wow. What an amazing photo! Thank you so much! Henry Homeyer

    May 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm

  11. An unusually gorgeous photo, even judging by the very high standards you set!

    May 12, 2017 at 3:14 am

  12. Sam dunn

    Nice shot

    May 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm

  13. Kate Schubart

    Re the Trinity flower–we are up on Lake Willoughby for a few days and coincidentally I saw the posting just after photographing red trillium here. These my husband harks back to calling “stinking Benjamin” when he was a child. We bent down to see what the ‘stink’ was and thought we got a whiff of something rank. But where the idea that it smelled like raw meat comes from we could not tell. Maybe to an insect but not a human?

    May 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

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